Fourteen other communities around the world held similar events,
all promoted and sponsored by Surfing Magazine.
Ray Halowski, vice president of the Surfrider's Newport Beach
chapter, said the magazine decided to promote the event to recognize
surfers, while doing something to clean up the ocean and educate
people about the need to do so.
Trash is carried by the Santa Ana River from as far away as the
Inland Empire and finds a resting place in the rocks that mark where
the river meets the Pacific Ocean at the western tip of Newport
"That's why we came here -- because we know that this is a place
that needs it, no matter what time of year," Halowski said.
One thing Surfrider made sure to provide was reusable cloth bags
and cloth gloves for the volunteers, rather than plastic bags that
contribute to the pollution problem, Halowski said.
Trash collectors found varying items -- including lighters and
2-gallon gas containers -- stuck in between the rocks and strewn
across the sand. They also found a lot of plastic foam pieces and
bits of plastic.
"I heard the fish think it [plastic foam] is food and eat it,"
said Marlys Billings, an Irvine resident and Newport Beach Surfrider
Rachelle Zimmerman of Aliso Viejo said she also found a lot of the
material and that she thought it was someone's cooler that broke
Zimmerman, a friend of Billings', said she thought participating
in the cleanup was the perfect thing to do for the solstice.
"It's a good way to help out," she said. "I love the beach, I love
the ocean, I love it -- it's my favorite place to be. It makes me sad
that people use it as their trash can."
Halowski stressed that people need to realize anything that gets
into the watershed will eventually wind up in the ocean.
Irma Mudge and her husband, John Mudge, came from San Diego to
help out with the cleanup. The couple lived in Irvine for many years
and has stayed connected to the area through their friends at
"When you're in the ocean, you know the condition of it," said
Irma Mudge, a surfer and longtime Newport Beach chapter member.